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   Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume Two, Chapter XIV


In assuming the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs in
Hitler's Cabinet, von Neurath assumed charge of a foreign
policy committed to breach of treaties.

The Nazi Party had repeatedly and for many years made known
its intention to overthrow Germany's international
commitments, even at the risk of war. Sections 1 and 2 of
the Party Program (1708-PS), which was published year after
year, declared:

                                                 [Page 1017]
     "1. We demand the unification of all Germans in the
     Greater Germany on the basis of the right of self-
     determination of peoples.
     "2. We demand equality of rights for the German people
     in respect to the other nations; abrogation of the
     peace treaties of Versailles and St. Germain." (1708-
An even clearer statement of these goals is contained in
Hitler's speech at Munich on 15 March 1939, in which he

     "My foreign policy had identical aims. My program was
     to abolish the Treaty of Versailles. It is futile
     nonsense for the rest of the world to pretend today
     that I did not reveal this program until 1933 or 1935
     or 1937. Instead of listening to this foolish chatter
     of emigres, these gentlemen would have been wiser to
     read what I have written thousands of times." (2771-PS)

If it is "futile nonsense" for foreigners to raise that
point, it would be still more futile for Hitler's Foreign
Minister to suggest that he was ignorant of the aggressive
designs of Nazi policy. The acceptance of force as a means
of solving international problems and achieving the
objectives of Hitler's foreign policy must have been known
to anyone as closely in touch with Hitler as was von
Neurath. This doctrine, for example, is constantly
reiterated in Mein Kampf (D-660). (See Section 6 of Chapter
IX on Aggression as a Basic Nazi Idea.)

Hence, by the acceptance and implementation of this foreign
policy, von-Neurath assisted and promoted the realization of
the illegal aims of the Nazi Party.


In his capacity as Minister of Foreign Affairs von Neurath
directed the international aspects of the first phase of the
Nazi conspiracy, the consolidation of control in preparation
for war.

From his close connection with Hitler von Neurath must have
known the cardinal points of Hitler's policy leading up to
the outbreak of World War II, as outlined in retrospect by
Hitler in his speech to his military leaders on 23 November
1939 (789-PS). This policy had two facets: internally, the
establishment of rigid control; externally, the program to
release Germany from its international commitments. The
external program had four points:

     1. Secession from the disarmament conference;
                                                 [Page 1018]
     2. The order to re-arm Germany;
     3. The introduction of compulsory military service; and
     4. The remilitarization of the Rhineland.

These points were set out in Hitler's address of 23 November
1939, after the invasion of Poland:

     " *** I had to reorganize everything beginning with the
     mass of the people and extending it to the armed
     forces. First, reorganization of the interior,
     abolishment of appearance of decay and defeatist ideas,
     education to heroism. While reorganizing the interior,
     I undertook the second task, to release Germany from
     its international ties. Two particular characteristics
     are to be pointed out: secession from the League of
     Nations and denunciation of the disarmament conference.
     It was a hard decision. The number of prophets who
     predicted that it would lead to the occupation of the
     Rhineland was large, the number of believers was very
     small. I was supported by the nation, which stood
     firmly behind me, when I carried out my intentions.
     After that, the order for rearmament. Here again there
     were numerous prophets who predicted misfortunes, and
     only a few believers. In 1935 the introduction of
     compulsory armed service. After that, militarization of
     the Rhineland, again a process believed to be
     impossible at that time. The number of people who would
     trust in me were very small. Then the beginning of the
     fortification of the whole country, especially in the
     West." (789-PS)

Hitler thus summarized his pre-war foreign policy in four
points. Von Neurath participated directly and personally in
accomplishing each of these four points, at the same time
officially proclaiming that these measures did not
constitute steps toward aggression. The first is a matter of
history. When Germany left the disarmament conference von
Neurath sent telegrams, dated 14 October 1933, to the
President of the Conference announcing Germany's withdrawal
(Documents of German Politics, 1933, vol. I, p. 94).
Similarly, von Neurath made the announcement of Germany's
withdrawal from the League of Nations on 21 October 1933.
(Documents of German Politics, 1933, vol. I). At the same
time, the German government was undertaking far-reaching
military preparation (C-140; C-153).

The second point regarding German rearmament: When von
Neurath was Foreign Minister, on 10 March 1935, the German
Government officially announced the establishment of the
German air force (TC-44). On 21 May 1935, Hitler announced a
purported unilateral repudiation of the Naval, Military, and

                                                 [Page 1019]
clauses of the Treaty of Versailles and the Treaty for the
Restoration of Friendly Relations with the United States
(2288-PS). On the same day the Reich Cabinet, of which von
Neurath was a member, enacted the secret Reich Defense Law
creating the office of Plenipotentiary General for War
Economy (2261-PS), afterwards described by the Wehrmacht
armament expert as "the cornerstone of German rearmament"

     "The latter orders were decreed in the Reich defense
     law of 21 May 1935, which was supposed to be published
     only in case of war, and was already declared valid for
     carrying out war preparations. As this law fixed the
     duties of the armed forces and the other Reich
     authorities in case of war, it was also the fundamental
     ruling for the development and activity of the war
     economy organization." (2353-PS)

The third point is the introduction of compulsory military
service. On 16 March 1935 von Neurath signed the law for the
organization of the armed forces, which provided for
universal military service and anticipated a vastly expanded
German army (Reichsgesetzblatt, 1935, I, p. 369) (1654-PS).
This was described by Keitel as the real start of the large-
scale rearmament program which followed.

The fourth point was the remilitarization of the Rhineland.
The Rhineland was reoccupied on 7 March 1936. This action
was announced by Hitler (2289-PS), who had also previously
given the order for "Operation Schulung," directing the
military action which was to be taken if necessary (C-139).
These were acts for which von Neurath shared responsibility
from his position and from the steps which he took. Some
time later he summed up his views on the actions detailed
above in a speech to Germans abroad, on 29 August 1937:

     "The unity of the racial and national will created
     through Nazism with unprecedented elan has made
     possible a foreign policy through which the bonds of
     the Versailles Treaty were slashed, freedom to arm
     regained, and the sovereignty of the whole nation
     reestablished. We have again become master in our own
     home, and we have produced the means of power to remain
     henceforth that way for all times. The world should
     notice from Hitler's deeds and words that his aims are
     not aggressive war." (D-449)

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